Modeling Responses to Respiratory House Dust Mite Exposure
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House dust mite (HDM) is the most pervasive indoor aeroallergen source worldwide. Allergens derived from HDM are associated with sensitization and allergic asthma. Allergic asthma is an immunologically driven disease characterized by a Th2-polarized immune response, eosinophilic inflammation, airway hyperreactivity, and remodeling. Animal models of asthma utilizing ovalbumin (OVA) exposure have afforded us considerable insight with respect to the mediators and cell types involved in allergic airway inflammation. However, OVA preparations and HDM are two vastly different materials. This chapter is specifically concerned with modeling responses to HDM exposure in mice. These studies have furnished new information and unlocked new lines of inquiry regarding biological responses to common aeroallergens. The complexity of HDM as an allergen source, with its plethora of protein and nonprotein immunogenic components, may influence the mechanisms underlying sensitization, inflammation and remodeling. Here, we will discuss this issue, along with giving critical thought to the use of experimental models.
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